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Chess Tournament

Second Annual Joe DeRaymond Memorial Chess Tournament Scheduled for July 30

Purpose is to Raise Funds and Awareness for Aggressive Brain Cancer Called Gioblastoma Multiforma

Bethlehem, PA (7/20/2011) – The Second Annual Joseph DeRaymond Chess Tournament is scheduled for July 30 at 1:30 pm at St. Luke's Lutheran Church in Allentown. The tournament will raise funds and awareness for an aggressive brain cancer called gioblastoma multiforma. Registration will begin at noon.

Andrew Unger, MD first met the late Joseph S. DeRaymond of Freemansburg in the late 1980s at the former Lehigh Valley Chess Club. At that time, the group held weekly meetings and games in the cafeteria of St. Luke's Hospital – Bethlehem Campus. Dr. Unger, Section Chief of Neonatology for St. Luke's Hospital & Health Network, is an active and avid - if not terribly strong (by his own description) - chess player. Mr. DeRaymond was a registered nurse who also made a name for himself in the Lehigh Valley and beyond as a peace activist and human-rights advocate. His kind nature and concern for others soon resulted in their friendship.

Unfortunately, Mr. DeRaymond was diagnosed about three years ago with an aggressive brain cancer, specifically, gioblastoma multiforma, or GBM. As Dr. Unger recalls it, Mr. DeRaymond's course was fairly typical for this particular kind of malignant tumor: An initial excellent response to chemotherapy and radiation that lasted for more than a year, followed by a rapid decline. Mr. DeRaymond died on Oct. 1, 2009. Dr. Unger remembers having gone to Mr. DeRaymond's home to play chess early in 2009 and, “even when he was sick from the chemo, he could beat me, he'd take five of six points at a sitting. And laugh.”

Chess Tournament Raises Awareness of Gioblastoma Multiforma

On June 24, 2010, the First Annual Joe DeRaymond Memorial Chess Tournament was held at the meeting place for the Allentown Center City Chess Club at St. Luke's Lutheran Church in Allentown. Now, Dr. Unger is organizing a second — and what he hopes will become an annual — chess tournament to memorialize his friend and to raise awareness about GBM tumors. It will be held on July 30, 2011, at St. Luke's Lutheran Church, located at 417 North 7th Street, Allentown.

“I would like to raise money for GBM awareness and education,” he says. ”A chess tournament is a natural event for a disease that attacks the brain. That’s what chess is about — two people butting brains. And, I want to honor the memory of Joe. I have never met a more passionate and compassionate man.” Players will pay entry fees and compete for donated prize money. Dr. Unger says he tries to schedule the DeRaymond tournament close to Bastille Day, July 14, France’s independence day. “I think that would be fitting, knowing how Joe loved that kind of politics,” he adds.

Event will be Rated by the United States Chess Federation

Tournament Director Eric Johnson of Allentown, the organizer of the Allentown Center City Chess Club, says the event will be rated by the United States Chess Federation, which means players will gain points for their play. Eric, also a friend of Joe DeRaymond, said the event will be a “Swiss tournament,” meaning players are paired based on their USCF ratings, and games will have relatively short time limits, 30 minutes per player. “Joe liked fast games,” Eric recalls.

Event Details

  • A 7-round chess tournament
  • Time control: Game in 15 minutes (with 3-second delay)
  • Registration: Noon to 1:15 PM
  • Rounds are 1:30 PM, 2 PM, 2:30 PM, 3:30 PM, 4 PM, 4:30 PM and 5 PM. Event should end by 6:15 PM
  • Place: St. Luke's Evangelical Lutheran Church, 417 N. 7th St in downtown Allentown
  • Cost: Free to spectators. $20 Entry fee ($12 for beginners). USCF membership is required
  • Prizes: $300 prize fund - $150 plus trophy to 1st, $50 to second, $50 best under 1800, $50 best under 1600/unrated. Book prize drawing for non-prize-winners.
  • What to Bring: Players should bring clocks and proof of USCF membership. Sets and boards provided.
  • The event is rated by the US Chess Federation (uschess.org ) and the results become part of the ratings history on the USCF website.

For full details, see the Allentown Center City Chess Club website at freewebs.com/allentowncentercitychessclub or contact organizer Eric C. Johnson at 610-433-6518. All players must register at the site.

Donations will be accepted on-site on the day of the event.